Glossary

Glossary terms represent a distillation and unification of terminology from a number of sources, many of which are included in the References.

Adaptation Use or reuse of a digital learning resource in which changes are made, presumably to fit a new context or application.
Adoption Use or reuse of a digital learning resource in which changes are made, presumably to fit a new context or application.
Aggregation A digital learning resource that is composed of other digital learning resources.
Aggregation Level The degree to which a digital learning resource is made up of other digital learning resources. The higher the aggregation level, the deeper the hierarchical structure of a digital learning resource.
Assets “Learning content in its most basic form is composed of Assets that are electronic representations of media, text, images, sound, web pages, assessment objects or other pieces of data that can be delivered to a Web client.” Term defined by SCORM 2004.
Author Person(s) creating a digital learning resource. This term is used loosely and could apply to developers, designers, and other contributors. The digital learning resource need not be new – it could be derived work or an aggregation of existing works.
Collection An entity that provides and maintains access to a set of digital learning resources organized around some theme. The term collection can refer to an organization or to a set of resources. Collections usually provide additional services to their users, e.g. search, discovery, cataloging, validation or reviews. The objects in a collection are often metadata records referencing digital learning resources, but some collections maintain some or all of their resources on their own servers.
Content Asset Raw media: images, text snippets, audio clips, applets, etc. See: Granularity, Interoperability and Layers Matrix for more info on the relationship with reusability.
Decomposability Ability of a digital learning resource to be split into more granular pieces.
Decompose Splitting a digital learning resource into more granular pieces.
Digital Learning Resource Anything in a digital format that is intended for use in learning.
Granularity The size, decomposability and the extent to which a resource is intended to be used as part of a larger resource. More granular digital learning resources are smaller and do not have sub-components. Less granular digital learning resources are larger and are composed of smaller pieces. Also see aggregation level.
IMS The IMS Global Learning Consortium is a membership-based consortium that develops specifications (such as Meta-data, Learning Information Profile, etc.). Varous IMS specifications are widely adoped by learning management systems, learning content management systems, authoring environment, assessment engines and course management systems. http://www.imsglobal.org/
Information Object A text passage, Web page(s), applet, etc. that focuses on a single piece of information. It might explain a concept, illustrate a principle or describe a process. (Single) exercises are often considered information objects. See: Granularity, Interoperability and Layers Matrix for more info the relationship with reusability.
Interoperability The extent to which a digital learning resource will “plug and play” on different platforms. Interoperability also refers to the ease with which two software components can exchange and correctly interpret each others’ data.
Learning Component A learning component is a generic term for things like lessons and courses that typically have multiple learning objectives and are composed of multiple learning objects. See: Granularity, Interoperability and Layers Matrix for more info on the relationship with reusability.
Learning Environment “Learning Environment” is a catch-all phase for the combination of content and technology with which a learner interacts. Thus a course written in a course management system is a learning component, but a deployment of the course in a course management system at a particular institution (with a particular enrollment policy, help center, library reserve system etc.) used by learners is a learning environment. See: Granularity, Interoperability and Layers Matrix for more info on the relationship with reusability.
Learning Management System “A suite of functionalities designed to deliver, track, report on and manage learning content, student progress and student interactions. The term “LMS” can apply to very simple course management systems, or highly complex enterprise-wide distributed environments.” Term defined by SCORM 2004.
Learning Object A collection of Information Objects that are assembled to teach a single learning objective. See: Granularity, Interoperability and Layers Matrix for more info on the relationship with reusability.
Learning Objective An instructional design concept of a single measurable (or verifiable) step on the way to a learning goal. Learning objectives say what a learner is expected to do or learn and how an acceptable level of achievement will be verified.
Repository Technology and services that allow digital objects, or metadata about digital objects, to be maintained and accessed.
Repurposing Using a digital learning resource in a way or in a context other than that for which it was originally designed.
Reuse Using a digital learning resource in a way or in a context other than that for which it was originally designed.
Reuser Person(s) wishing to reuse a digital learning resource.
Rights What a user can legally do with a digital learning resource. Rights are granted by governing laws and by the terms and conditions of contracts.
SCORM Acronym for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. SCORM consists of a set of specifications and standards (Note: Technically it consists of profiles of standards or specifications) maintained and documented by the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative. SCORM is widely adopted by learning management systems, learning content management systems, authoring environment, assessment engines and course management systems. http://www.adlnet.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=scormabt
SCORM Run-Time Environment “Provides a means for interoperability between Shareable Content Object-based learning content and Learning Management Systems.” Term defined by SCORM 2004.
Shareable Content Object “A collection of one or more Assets that include a specific launchable asset that utilizes the SCORM Run-Time Environment to communicate with Learning Management Systems (LMSs). A SCO represents the lowest level of granularity of learning resources that can be tracked by an LMS using the SCORM Run-Time Environment.” Term defined by SCORM 2004.
Specification A detailed and precise description of functionality, methodology and practice.
Standard A specification that is recognized as the accepted way to achieve a technical goal either because it is widely adopted or because it has been accredited by a formal standards body.

Glossary Compilations

e-learning Dr. Thomas D. Wason’s Glossary of Terms for Metadata, Taxonomies and Digital Libraries, http://wason.home.mindspring.com/TDW/Glossary.htm
e-learning American Society for Training & Development Learning Circuits Glossary, http://www.learningcircuits.org/glossary.html
e-learning Brandon-Hall Glossary of E-learning Terms, http://www.brandonhall.com/public/pdfs/glossary.pdf
e-learning CELEBRATE Glossary, http://eunbrux02.eun.org/ww/en/pub/celebrate_help/glossary.htm
e-learning DLESE Glossary, http://www.dlese.org/documents/glossary.html
e-learning Dublin Core Metadata Glossary, http://library.csun.edu/mwoodley/dublincoreglossary.html
e-learning EduSource Suite of Tools Glossary of Terms, http://www.edusource.ca/public_documents/eduSource Glossary 290903.doc
e-learning Internet Time eGlossary, http://www.internettime.com/itimegroup/eglossary.htm
e-learning The Le@rning Federation Glossary (Australia), http://belts.sourceforge.net/systemadmin/glossary.html
e-learning Learnativity Terms and Buzzwords, http://learnativity.org/terms.html
e-learning Learnframe Glossary of E-learning Terms, http://www.learnframe.com/aboutelearning/glossary.asp
e-learning NLII CMS Glossary, http://educ3.utsa.edu/pmcgee/nlii/NLII_glo.rtf
e-learning NLII Learning Object Glossary, http://educ3.utsa.edu/pmcgee/nlii/glossary/
e-learning Transforming e-Knowledge Glossary, http://www.transformingeknowledge.info/glossary_f.html
e-learning Cisco Systems E-learning Glossary, http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/10/wwtraining/elearning/pdf/elearn_glossary.pdf
standards & technical Macquarie E-learning Centre of Excellence COLIS project glossary, http://www.melcoe.mq.edu.au/faq/
standards & technical CETIS Encyclopedia, http://www.cetis.ac.uk/encyclopedia/
standards & technical LionShare Glossary & URL directory, http://lionshare.its.psu.edu:8080/wiki/Glossary
standards & technical UK Online Learning Network Metadata Glossary, http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/glossary/
standards & technical Learning Systems Architecture Lab Glossary, http://www.lsal.cmu.edu/lsal/resources/scaffold/glossary/
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